Keeping physically active is really important to our overall wellbeing as we get older.
can significantly reduce your risk of falling by improving your balance and flexibility
can reduce your risk of hip fracture by up to 40%
helps you get out and meet new people
will help you sleep better
is important whatever your age, as you can improve muscle strength through physical activity – you are never too old
reduces your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression
helps you lose weight and improve fitness
If you already have poor balance, you will need extra support and advice before you take up any activity to make sure you are safe. Our Falls Leaflet provides more information.
There are lots of opportunities for you to be active across Somerset through - local leisure providers, Somerset Skills and Learning classes, Active Living groups and other opportunities mentioned below. There are sessions on everything from Tai Chi, to dance, to Nordic walking, which are tailored to suit the older person and take account of your needs.
In addition for people who find many types of activity difficult there are Flexercise sessions – this is a gentle chair based exercise programme available in many locations across Somerset.
Not only does being active improve your physical health, it's a great way to meet new people and have fun!
Age UK Somerset
Run Ageing Well and Fit as a Fiddle with lots of different physical activities on offer across Somerset from Tai Chi to Nordic Walking and Belly Dancing – contact Di Ramsay on 0845 643 4702 for more information. You can also go to the website and follow the ‘Ageing Well – activities for you’ link. www.ageuk.org.uk/somerset
Healthy and Active Lifestyle Teams
Healthy and Active Lifestyle teams based with District Councils and Leisure Providers run various classes. Give them a call. They can be contacted on the following numbers:
Sedgemoor District Council
Telephone: 01278 435715
West Somerset - Somerset Leisure
Telephone: 01643 708815
South Somerset District Council
Telephone: 01935 462462
Taunton Deane - Tone Leisure
Telephone: 01823 273088
There are also Health Walks across the county. These are a fantastic opportunity to get more active and meet other like-minded people. The health walks are suitable for all ages and those who are not very active. Walks vary from one to four miles long across Somerset, and are led by trained walk volunteers. Please contact the Active Lifestyle Team in your area for more details.
Fresh Steps - Health Trainers
Health trainers offer free support and motivation to help you change your lifestyle and become more active—on a one to one basis.
To find out if this service is available in your area, telephone phone 0800 4125502 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ProActive Scheme provides you with a safe introduction to physical activity. If you have a health condition and are not very active at present, speak to your GP or Practice Nurse to see if you would be eligible to attend.
Exercise professionals at recognised ProActive leisure providers will support you to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle, at a reduced cost. Call 01823 287839 for more information.
Locally based, Take Art have dance opportunities for people of all ages. Telephone 01460 249455 or visit their website: www.takeart.org for more information.
Also check out Dance Champions - a "one stop" search mechanism for all people interested in dancing for fitness or fun. Find out what's available in your area at www.dancechampions.org
Somerset Skills and Learning
At centres across Somerset, healthy lifestyle courses are available throughout the year. To find out what's happening near you, telephone 0845 688 0488 or go to the website www.learnsomerset.co.uk/coursefinder